What if you had to leave an abusive situation in a hurry? You can take your children with you, but what about your pets? Many victims of abuse don’t escape because of not wanting to leave a beloved dog or pet behind. Where could you go with your pets that would be a safe place? Introducing Orazie Cook, owner and founder of Praline’s Backyard Foundation, who is passionate about providing safe places for pets of domestic violence victims while they are transitioning out of an abusive situation. This episode is perfect for all you animal lovers!
Orazie is a dedicated advocate for domestic violence survivors and their beloved pets. With a passion for creating safe and loving environments for both humans and animals, she established Praline’s Backyard Foundation with the goal of breaking barriers faced by survivors with pets. Driven by her own experiences and fueled by compassion, Orazie leads the charge in raising awareness about the challenges survivors encounter when seeking safe housing for their pets. Through her dynamic leadership, Praline’s Backyard Foundation has become a beacon of hope for countless families and their beloved pets. As a renowned speaker and educator, Orazie takes her mission beyond the foundation’s walls, engaging with the community and inspiring thousands to join the cause. Her dedication to fostering networks has enabled countless survivors to find peace, knowing their pets are cared for and loved. Join Orazie on her journey to empower survivors, educate communities, and create a world where no pet is left behind. Together, we can make a difference one paw at a time!
The call-to-action link we are providing is a powerful tool that offers significant benefits to our listeners and potential supporters. For hosts’ understanding, the call-to-action link serves as an invitation for pet boarding facilities to join our network and for individuals to become pet fosters. For pet boarding facilities, joining our network means becoming part of a compassionate community that is dedicated to providing safe and loving temporary homes for pets of domestic violence survivors. By affiliating with Praline’s Backyard Foundation, these facilities can actively contribute to breaking the barriers that survivors face when seeking safety for themselves and their beloved pets. Being a part of our network not only gives boarding facilities the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of survivors and their pets but also helps raise awareness about the critical issue of domestic violence. On the other hand, for individuals, becoming a pet foster through our call-to-action link offers a unique chance to play a crucial role in supporting survivors during their journey to rebuild their lives. By fostering a pet, individuals provide a loving and nurturing environment for these animals, allowing survivors to access resources and assistance without the fear of leaving their pets behind. Being a pet foster allows individuals to actively participate in the healing process of both the survivor and their furry companion, fostering a sense of empowerment and hope. Overall, the call-to-action link is a powerful means to engage listeners, as it gives them the opportunity to directly impact the lives of survivors and their pets. By clicking on the link, listeners can become part of a network that promotes safety, healing, and brighter futures for those affected by domestic violence. It adds value to the listener experience by providing a tangible way to contribute and support a cause that makes a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals and their beloved pets.
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Orazie Cook transcript[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast, brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer, songwriter, speaker, and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help. [00:00:31] Now, here is Diana. [00:00:38] Hello everybody, ladies and gentlemen, friends, hopefully no enemies, but you are all welcome here on the podcast. Thanks for showing up today. I have an awesome guest for you today. You’re just going to love her. We have Orazie Cook on the show today, [00:01:00] and she is a advocate for animals for domestic violence survivors who have to leave their animals behind. [00:01:10] They need shelter for their pets. And this is very near and dear to my heart because I had to leave behind my two dogs when I left my abuser, and she has this huge organization that pairs up other shelters and other fosters to temporarily watch people’s animals until they get settled. [00:01:36] let me read to you her bio, [00:01:43] Orazie is a dedicated advocate for domestic violence survivors and their beloved pets, with a passion for creating safe and loving environments. For both humans and animals, she established Praline’s Backyard [00:02:00] Foundation with the goal of breaking barriers faced by survivors with pets. Driven by her own experiences and fueled by compassion, Orazie leads the charge in raising awareness about the challenges survivors encounter when seeking safe housing for their pets. [00:02:21] Through her dynamic leadership, Praline’s Backyard Foundation has become a beacon of hope for countless families and their beloved pets. As a renowned speaker and educator, Orazie takes her mission beyond the Foundation’s walls, engaging with the community and inspiring thousands to join the cause. Her dedication to fostering networks has enabled countless survivors [00:02:49] to find peace, knowing that their pets are cared for and loved. Join Orazie on her journey to empower survivors, educate [00:03:00] communities, and create a world where no pet is left behind. Together we can make a difference, one paw at a time. I love it. We had a fantastic conversation. And one you’re not going to miss. [00:03:17] So, without further ado, here is my guest, Orazie Cook. [00:03:22] Please welcome my guest today, Orazie Cook. Thank you so much for being here with me today. [00:03:30] Orazie Cook: Thank you, Diana. I appreciate being here as well. [00:03:33] Diana: You just flew in. You got a little sleep last night. Tell us what you were doing. [00:03:38] Orazie Cook: I had an invitation to visit the Humane Society National Conference in Springfield, Missouri. [00:03:44] Orazie Cook: I had never gone to Humane Society Conference. It was very enlightening in terms of just the different aspects of humane, just animal welfare. And just animal welfare advocacy and just using legislation and legal aspects to really protect animals. [00:03:57] Orazie Cook: And so it was a part of my work that [00:04:00] I have not delved into, but obviously I delved into it in the sense of like I want to protect animals from abusers, but not in the sense of using the aspect of humane society and there’s different aspects of protecting animals as well. So it was a good opportunity to stay with other animal advocates, animal welfare persons, and just really look at ways to better serve pets. [00:04:19] Diana: I am so excited to have you today because I’m an animal lover and I know my listeners are animal lovers of all different kinds. I had to leave my two dogs behind when I left my abuser. Now fortunately, my abuser loved the dogs more than me. And so I at least wasn’t afraid that they were in danger, but I did have that anxiety that I’d never see them again and miss them terribly. [00:04:51] Diana: Now it was probably one of the reasons why I didn’t leave was because I would have to leave my dogs behind. And start all over again.[00:05:00] [00:05:00] Diana: Now, did you grow up with… With a lot of pets? [00:05:04] Orazie Cook: I go find a lot of animals. My family is from Tuskegee, Alabama, home of Tuskegee University and Tuskegee Veterinary Medicine. [00:05:10] Orazie Cook: And so I was always around animals, like, every type of animal you could think of. This is kind of a country town. It was definitely grown since my childhood, but I was always around. Animals. My uncle bred pit bulls at the time when I was growing up. And so you have pictures of me and I never had a fear of pit bulls. [00:05:26] Orazie Cook: I know a lot of people do, but I never grew up with the fear of pit bulls because they were always around my, my, my family. But I, so I have even have pictures of me as a child, just sleeping next to a full grown pit bull and no fear. So I’ve always thought about animals I’ve had like I have my dog now is Praline Pecan, and she is my 4th Cocker Spaniel. [00:05:42] Orazie Cook: My 1st Cocker Spaniel was when I was in middle school, and he was Pepper. Then I had Patches, which is the one I had before Praline. And I had a very short time when I was in grad school. I can’t even remember the name. I’m blanking this moment, so forgive me. So, but I am partial to Cocker Spaniel. I feel like I have the personality [00:06:00] for Cocker Spaniel. [00:06:00] Orazie Cook: We’re kind of laid back, kind of temperamental sometimes, but we’re just definitely lovable. [00:06:05] Diana: Yeah, we had Cocker Spaniels growing up. Great dog. I bet you like pit bulls and parolees on Animal Planet. Oh, I have not seen that. I have not seen that. [00:06:18] Diana: Let’s see, a show on Animal Planet where they have the convicts that are on parole. They take care of the dogs that are being rescued, and they’re all pit bulls, and it’s in Louisiana, and it’s a really great show. It’s a reality show, but yeah, all different kinds of pit bulls that they rescue, and there’s sad stories, and, so, you probably would like that. [00:06:43] Orazie Cook: Yeah, I’m not really a TV person. My husband and my mom and my best friend always tell me about the news because I never know what’s going on. They’re my news people and my TV shows. It’s like, Oh, what should I watch lately? I’m like, tell me. But yeah, I would definitely put that down. [00:06:57] Orazie Cook: So I would definitely get around to that. So thank you. [00:06:59] Diana: Now we [00:07:00] talked before the show, [00:07:00] Diana: you yourself are not an abuse survivor, but you have watched it going on. [00:07:06] Orazie Cook: Yes, I have a lived experience in a sense of saying my mother physically abused by my father growing up. [00:07:11] Orazie Cook: And so that’s the initial abuse, initial introduction to abuse and situation. And thankfully, my mother. Thank you. My father was a better person now than he was then, but definitely he had a lot of growth to happen, and a lot of things happened to him to help him to grow to the point of not feeling that it was okay to abuse other people or to be violent. [00:07:33] Orazie Cook: So, but that was my experience and my introduction to abuse and why it became a passion project of mine, just having seen that with my mother and just seeing this opportunity just to help other people that do not necessarily have the voice to use their voice in the moment of their abuse and to advocate on their behalf, because I think that if people had the space and the ability, they would, like, survivors would lead if they had the resource and they had the encouragement and the safety net. [00:07:57] Orazie Cook: One thing that Praline’s Backyard Foundation does is [00:08:00] provide a safety net for survivors pets because we give them the assurance that their pets will be taken care of. Then they may leave their abuser sooner rather than later. A lot of survivor may not leave for a lot of different reasons. [00:08:12] Orazie Cook: However, I want to make sure that a survivor does not stay with an abuser because they’re concerned about housing for their pet. Praline’s Backyard Foundation provide housing for their pet via pet boarding facilities and pet fosters across the U. S. So don’t feel like I’m, as people say, oh, you look, you’re in Georgia. [00:08:27] Orazie Cook: I’m like, yeah, I’m in Georgia, but there are pet board facilities and pet fosters committed to assisting survivors across the U. S. that we partner with. And there are people out there that want to help every survivor. So my goal is always educate 10 million people on the barrier survivors of domestic violence experience each day in this country to represent the 10 million people that are impacted by domestic violence. [00:08:46] Orazie Cook: each year in this country. So there’s just 10 million, there should be 10 million advocates for survivors. If we have 10 million survivors experiencing abuse, that’s my idea. Just to educate as many people as possible to really match a survivor with an advocate and really [00:09:00] eliminate the barrier survivors experience. [00:09:02] Diana: That is amazing. I want to hats off to your father for growing as a person. And that’s very rare for families are saved from destruction or going down the wrong path. You have a happy ending with your family. I love to hear that story. That is super awesome. [00:09:22] Diana: I was going to say that here in Arizona, we have a shelter called Sojourner Center named after Sojourner Truth, one of the first Shelters that has facilities for dogs and cats, so I don’t know if they’re on your list. [00:09:46] Orazie Cook: Okay, I don’t know if I can check it because I actually was looking at the protective order statutes today because I’m working on a series addressing a lot of states that don’t include pets and protective orders. [00:09:58] Orazie Cook: So I would definitely look at [00:10:00] Arizona to see what their thing is, but yeah. [00:10:03] Orazie Cook: So at least we have somewhere here [00:10:06] Orazie Cook: Oh yeah, definitely. And shelters like, like, the Sojourner Center, a lot of them are, tend to be packed. And so we have one here in Atlanta and they tend to be over. They’re always packed. And so that’s where pre backyard is able to be a backup for shelters. [00:10:19] Orazie Cook: They, that actually house pets on site. ’cause often shelters are not like unlimited in the number of pets that they will have. They have a cat on the number, even if they have 30 beds, they may only have five spots for pets, whether the dogs or cats or both. And so it’s like the more people, like we know that 50% of the population has a pet, right? [00:10:38] Orazie Cook: And so the same thing would happen within a shelter environment, but half of the people that come into there to a shelter normally have a pet that they have left behind or they desire to bring with them. And so, definitely the the number of survivors with pets is greater than the need, than the resources that are available within our shelter environments. [00:10:56] Diana: So, yeah, definitely. It was a huge [00:11:00] reality. So how did you actually create this organization of yours? It must’ve been a huge accomplishment to get this off the ground. [00:11:13] Orazie Cook: This is confirmed. I do have Sojourner Center on my list and they also, a number of other ones that also house pets in Arizona. [00:11:19] Orazie Cook: So you all have about maybe 10 actually that house pets domestic violence. Completely, but they take survivors and people, homeless persons, and their pets as well. And they would also take like, you have Yuma Safe House, you have Verde Valley Sanctuary, Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, Mountain Graham Safe House, New Life Center Page Regional Domestic Violence Services. [00:11:44] Orazie Cook: Kingman Aid and Northland Family Health Help Center. [00:11:48] Diana: Wow, I’m glad to hear that. That’s awesome. [00:11:51] Orazie Cook: Yeah, I don’t know how big they are, but those are the other centers that you have. I actually have a link on my link tree within all of my social media profiles that list [00:12:00] shelters or accommodations available for pets in every state, just so when a survivor goes to my resources page, they’re able to see what’s available To them, and you asked me a question before I got off on that tangent, so I apologize. [00:12:11] Orazie Cook: What was that question again? [00:12:13] Diana: How did you start this organization? It must have been a huge feat to get this off the ground. [00:12:21] Orazie Cook: I don’t know if it was, I mean, I guess it was a huge feat. People tell me that, but I don’t, I guess I was just so focused. I didn’t think of it as a huge feat. I just thought it was something that had to be done. [00:12:29] Orazie Cook: So I was like, like, I have to run a marathon, so let’s just get it done. This is how you’re going to do it. Because initially, when I first started this in 2020, I I had the idea of building my own facility here in Georgia to house pets and domestic violence survivors and through a lot of learning and just learning about zoning, civil engineering, building processes, and just The all everything that goes into establishing a physical building to house pets just, and I ended up losing the land because I wasn’t able to raise enough money in time [00:13:00] for the closing. [00:13:00] Orazie Cook: And so, but I wasn’t discouraged by that because I was like, I still have a, there’s still a need, and because there’s still a need, and there’s still pet waiting facilities that exist. I necessarily don’t have mine, but how can I partner with existing pet boarding facilities to house pets of survivors? In addition to that, it doesn’t have to be local. [00:13:18] Orazie Cook: Like, initially, I was just thinking Georgia, right? But there are survivors with pets across the U. S. that need help. So let’s not make this national. Because people initially say, I want you to work on Georgia. I’m like, if I’m going to do this work. I’m not going to limit it to Georgia. It’s going to be the same amount of effort. [00:13:32] Orazie Cook: Let’s make it national, right? If I’m going to be on social media every day, if I’m going to tell people the story of survivors and pets, why would I limit it to Georgia? Why wouldn’t I partner with as many pet boarding facilities across the U. S. as possible, as many pet fosters across the U. S. as possible? [00:13:46] Orazie Cook: So that’s how I kind of, it kind of just spiraled in that, like, it’s not about Georgia, and it’s not about me owning my own facility, it’s about me making sure survivors have a safety net when they’re able to leave their abuser with their pet. I want to bring their pet with them when they [00:14:00] leave. [00:14:00] Orazie Cook: Because I had that mindset, I thought I lost the property. That’s still a need. Let me focus on partnering with other organizations and other pet boarding facilities and other fosters and still meet the need because that’s what’s important to me. It’s not about me, it’s about making sure survivors needs are met. [00:14:15] Orazie Cook: So I guess it was a heavy lift, but at the same time, I think partnership makes it, we go further together than we do alone. And maybe I was only going so far just in Georgia when I was doing it by myself. But then as I grew, and as I said, let’s do a partnership and let’s make it bigger than Georgia and across the US. [00:14:30] Orazie Cook: That made it easier when you’re in partnership. So that made it an easier lift. [00:14:35] Diana: We are all Wondering where do you get the money for such a project? [00:14:42] Orazie Cook: Initially it was in the beginning. It was definitely self funded. I had I had sold my personal home and in the midst of COVID, which obviously we had a big, a nice financial benefit. [00:14:52] Orazie Cook: And so, but initially it was self funded, but then, as I continue to create a social media presence, it has right now is definitely self [00:15:00] sustaining based upon just on the donations that people send based on corporate donations based on foundation donations is definitely self sustaining at this point because I’m able to not using my personal funds and able to [00:15:12] Orazie Cook: really house pets and survivors when they call able to support fosters in terms of what they may need to help house pets as well. And so that’s how it has happened in a sense of I get on social media. I just tell the story. When people hear the story of why Praline’s Backyard Foundation exists, it resonates with people because there’s an aha moment that happens that says, oh yeah, there are pets that are left. [00:15:36] Orazie Cook: Because people think about kids, but don’t necessarily think about the pets that are experiencing, that are in homes of domestic violence survivors as well. And so knowing that, it actually just, People just, they’re like, oh, and people give. I just tell stories of survivors. I show pictures of pets that need fostering. [00:15:51] Orazie Cook: People just, it’s an outpouring. Like, I told people, I mean, before all of this, I was not a social media person. I was, I joined Facebook probably when it [00:16:00] started back in the day. And I played around with it for a minute. And not up until COVID again, did I get back onto social media and I was highly apprehensive because all the negative attention that social media sometimes brings, sometimes people are not so nice. [00:16:13] Orazie Cook: And so, and I am very sensitive sometimes. So I was just like I didn’t want to experience that. So I was very hesitant about going on social media, but it has been a very positive experience around my entire work. I have not received any negativity. The most negative I’ll say is when someone said And just like something really basic, like, I want to do an app for survivors and for pet boarding facilities and fosters to be able to access an app on a smartphone. [00:16:37] Orazie Cook: And so I mentioned the fact that not everyone has a smartphone. I was like, yeah, that’s true. So that’s like, the most negative thing that someone said to me. And that’s not even negative. It’s just like feedback, which I need feedback because I don’t work in a silo, but definitely I believe that it’s more Yeah. [00:16:50] Orazie Cook: Thought when I have more input from other people to think of a perspective that I do not always see. So I don’t mind that at all, but I have not had any negative negative feedback from people, which I [00:17:00] appreciate. I’ve only had an encouragement and perspectives that really helped me think about how can I better serve survivors and their pets. [00:17:06] Orazie Cook: So I’m just really thankful for that. [00:17:08] Diana: Oh, I’m so glad for you. Cause if I didn’t have this podcast in my ministry, I would definitely be off of social media because I’ve said some innocent things. And just get, all the trolls just pile on top of me and it’s like, yeah, it’s horrible. [00:17:24] Orazie Cook: I mean, it may come, but it hasn’t come and maybe because also I just, maybe because I have so much other good that I don’t even get to see it. [00:17:31] Orazie Cook: And so, but I’m just thankful that I do I haven’t had the negativity to come at the forefront. I’ll take it. [00:17:38] Diana: Now, I heard that you didn’t really watch TV until COVID too, huh? [00:17:44] Orazie Cook: Yeah, I actually bought a TV during COVID. My mom and my brother then bought me one once and I ended up giving it to some people that were at my house working on something and I gave it away. [00:17:53] Orazie Cook: But then in COVID, I bought, I got a TV because I needed some entertainment and my phone was not big enough anymore. Right. [00:18:00] And my computer, so I bought a TV during COVID. And actually I gave it, I gave the TV to my nephew. So I don’t even have it anymore, but I don’t have TVs in my house because I have a husband and kids. [00:18:08] Orazie Cook: And so they have it, but I necessarily don’t watch TV. [00:18:12] Orazie Cook: I wanted to ask what kind of pets [00:18:15] Diana: can be in this program? Is it just dogs and cats or what other animals? [00:18:21] Orazie Cook: Actually I, we would support survivors with any pet. I mostly only had cats and dogs. I did have one person contact was it was a a shelter. [00:18:29] Orazie Cook: It was a resource center rather that was trying to find support for a survivor. And she had a horse. And so I said, I’ve never placed a horse. I am up for a challenge. So when the survivor is ready, I’m definitely able to support and find out ways to to house this survivor’s horse. And actually, I met a young lady when I was at the Humane Society Conference, and I mentioned to her about the fact that I had this survivor, and she has not followed back up with me, the advocate. [00:18:54] Orazie Cook: But I was like, I want to create resources even before I’d have the need comes back around, right? So I was telling this person that about [00:19:00] the survivor with the horse, and they know of fostering people that will foster a horse. And so she works at a horse sanctuary. And she said, Oh, we’ll connect because it’s something that we might be able to do just to support you. [00:19:10] Orazie Cook: It’s not what we normally do, but we definitely can support and housing survivors horse because they’re a horse sanctuary. They have the space and all the resources to take care of the horse. So that’s probably the most, but normally it’s just cats and dogs, but the horse was a new ask, but I’m definitely ready for the opportunity to help survivors and whatever pet they may have. [00:19:27] Orazie Cook: So I even, I have fosters. I had a foster email me and tell me that they were available to foster reptiles. So I was like, okay, I a guy down in it was a guy down in Louisiana. I was like, this is cool. I like this. So that thing. [00:19:39] Diana: Yeah. I like snakes and I like lizards and stuff. The horses. It is a huge need because I had horses growing up and it’s very expensive to feed those animals and to take care of them. [00:19:53] Diana: And so I’m sure that there are a lot of people out there that may have horses and they don’t think anybody [00:20:00] would take care of them because of that expense. So I’m really encouraged that you have people that would take those animals for a survivor. [00:20:10] Orazie Cook: And I will investigate. So I don’t want any survivor to say, I have this kind of animal and I can’t leave. [00:20:16] Orazie Cook: Let me have the opportunity to serve you by finding a foster or a housing situation. And for your pet, because people, there are people out there, I’m continually reminded just about the goodness of people. People will support survivors. You step out, you step, you make one step, we will make two for you to support you in your decision to leave your abuser with your pet, whatever that pet is. [00:20:35] Orazie Cook: Awesome. So what is the steps, if there’s a listener [00:20:41] Diana: hearing you today, what are the steps if they want help in leaving and they need shelter for their pet? [00:20:51] Orazie Cook: Okay, so on our website, Praline’s Backyard Foundation dot org, there is a tab at the heading that says for survivors. Click on that [00:21:00] heading and it says assistance for housing my pet click on that and it’s like a form application. [00:21:06] Orazie Cook: It asks you your name, your pet where you’re located. Describe characteristics about your pet. Is your pet vaccinated? Just the template. It’s a templated question answer. Include pictures of your pet if you have them because we want to send those out to our fosters and also describe as much as possible about your pet and I really stress this enough because people will, they will not share the full characteristics of their pet out of We are concerned about we wouldn’t find a foster for them, but I told people, tell me as much as possible because what I don’t want to happen is I place your pet with a foster and I learned that your dog does not get along with someone else’s cat. [00:21:42] Orazie Cook: And it’s okay, it’s okay that your dog may not get along with the cat just inform me of that. So when I’m finding a foster for your dog, I would know not to place that dog with a family with a cat, or if your dog is not good with children, it’s okay. I have a Cocker Spaniel. Cocker Spaniels are really touchy when it comes to [00:22:00] young children, if they were not raised with children. [00:22:03] Orazie Cook: Like I have nieces and they, I’ve had my Cocker Spaniel since she was eight weeks. So immediately she was used to the introduction of having kids just touch all over her, so she knows that. But if a Cocker Spaniel has not, at least my experience with Cocker Spaniels, they have not grown up with young children. [00:22:18] Orazie Cook: And they’re introduced at older ages with children. They do not like children . So that’s why it’s important for survivors to communicate as much as possible about their pet. So we’re gonna have a situation where we have to take that pet from one foster to another. We wanna limit the reintroduction of that pet to different people as much as possible. [00:22:33] Orazie Cook: We recognize pets have experienced a household with trauma, with abuse. So they have experienced a level of trauma as well. Having to witness that with their owner or with their person. And we don’t wanna have them have any more instability as much as possible. So definitely fill out that form. [00:22:48] Orazie Cook: That form will initiate a request to me and a request within the Doobrit system. We’ve partnered with Doobrit. com. Doobrit. com is an organization that has a [00:23:00] conglomerate, I was going to say conglomerate, a network of pet fosters across the U. S. And so we’re able to get more fosters by being a part of doobroot. [00:23:06] Orazie Cook: com than we would get on our own, and so we’re able to link with them to increase a decreased amount of time it takes us to get a foster by partnering. I’m all about partnering with organizations that already exist, and Doobroot exists with fosters already, and so we’re able to connect with them, we can get a foster pretty quickly. [00:23:23] Orazie Cook: But in addition to that. Like I told people, if you’re a survivor today, you fill out that form. You need housing for your pet, maybe not this late, maybe not like late at night, but like first thing in the morning, we will, we can get your pet into a pet boarding facility within your community or outside of your community, however far you need it to be. [00:23:40] Orazie Cook: We can provide housing for that. Housing in a pet boarding facility, we can apply transportation based upon the needs and availability in your area for your pet to get from where you are to that pet boarding facility. And then when the pet boarding facility, we’ll arrange for a foster to pick up that pet once we’ve assigned a foster to that pet, and that foster will take that pet home. [00:23:59] Orazie Cook: And the same thing [00:24:00] would happen when you’re ready to re reunited with your pet. You will come back to that pet board, because that foster will bring that pet back there and then you’ll recover your pet and you’ll be reunited with your pet, which is awesome. And we do this because we want to protect the privacy of the survivor and the privacy of the foster. [00:24:15] Orazie Cook: But we also provide communication from both persons to like, for instance, about foster, that person will send me pictures, updates on that pet, and I will share that update with the survivor. So the survivor is continually updated on their pet, just to have the continual association, that affection for their pet. [00:24:32] Diana: Oh, that’s what I love hearing, that you get to see pictures and they are comforted in knowing that they’re in a safe place. Do the survivors get to visit, maybe? A little bit? [00:24:47] Orazie Cook: Unfortunately, I have not done that for safety reasons and because it’s just, it just continues to have the stability for that pet because we don’t want to reintroduce the survivor to their pet. [00:24:56] Orazie Cook: And then they’re going to leave again. We don’t want to create that level of [00:25:00] trauma, but that level of uncertainty with the pet. And so also just in terms of security as well, we want to make sure that the survivor continues to be secure and that pet stays secure as well. So not until the survivor says that they’re ready. [00:25:11] Orazie Cook: Thank you. In terms of have adequate housing and they feel safe that they can take on this pet and they’ll be safe and their pet will be safe as well. [00:25:17] Diana: That’s, that is a good tip there. I had volunteered for a German shepherd rescue for years and we had the ones that had health issues. One of the dogs kept getting returned because he had this he had glaucoma or something or. [00:25:39] Diana: I think it was called PANUS, it’s like glaucoma for dogs, and you had to put drops in his eyes and nobody wanted to do it because the drops stung. And we took the dogs in because I’m a pharmacy tech by trade, and I knew that the eye drops would they could be compounded into a, an [00:26:00] ointment or a cream, and we would just put the ointment on his eyes and he he was fine with it. [00:26:06] Diana: And his vision got so much better because he had the medicine that he needed, but are there like medical cases that you wouldn’t take or is even medical cases like special diets, are they still able to find a foster? [00:26:25] Orazie Cook: Good point. I actually I had a situation a few months ago where I did have a a pet that had a medication and a special diet. [00:26:32] Orazie Cook: Before I found a foster for that person another person had volunteered to say a vet office had volunteered to say we will pay. Pay for the vet, the medicines. And the special diet for this pet. And so I was just like, I didn’t even ask for that. [00:26:44] Orazie Cook: I just put the call out there that I had this pet that had this special need and I had a vet op, they couldn’t foster the pet, but they said they would support the medicines and the special diet. And I was like, oh, thank you so much. And so, but I ended up fostering that pet. And so the fo the Foster was able to take on that response, they had no problem paying for that [00:27:00] responsibility. [00:27:00] Orazie Cook: But I was glad that I had this organization that was this vet office that had volunteered for that service. ’cause it was like, Thank you, because that’s something I didn’t even ask for. And so that also speaks to the fact that people are listening to my posts and to my emails and things of that nature, and they’ll reach out. [00:27:15] Orazie Cook: Like, I didn’t, I never asked for medication. I never asked for food, but someone saw that this pet would need that. And that will be a financial hit for the foster. And it may be something that discourage some fosters to foster because like, Oh, I can’t foster a pet with specialty. I can’t afford this, that, and the other. [00:27:29] Orazie Cook: But that person, by volunteering, that made it easier for a foster to take on that pet. So, I have had that in that sense, but I have not had a case that I could not provide housing for. No. [00:27:42] Diana: That is encouraging that no one’s going to be left out. And yeah, so let’s talk about those folks that don’t have any pets or they can’t have any pets right now, but they would really like to help you with this project, this [00:28:00] organization. [00:28:00] Diana: So what are the best ways to help you? [00:28:04] Orazie Cook: The best way is you can help me. I sell people. It doesn’t cost you anything. Every time you like, you comment, and you share our content, you are, you’re, you are pushing our message in front of people that may not be aware. You’re helping us raise awareness. As I mentioned earlier, our goal is to educate 10 million people on the barriers of survivors of domestic violence with pets experience in this country each year. [00:28:24] Orazie Cook: Here we want one advocate for every survivor. So one thing you can do is like, share and follow our content because it pushes us up in the algorithm to get more people to be aware of our our concern, our issue. Secondly, you can donate, we’ll take money and that money will go toward housing pets of domestic violence survivors. [00:28:43] Orazie Cook: I’m going to go towards supporting our fosters. And that’s what that goes towards. Also, you can buy this awesome shirt that says no cat left behind and also sell one that says no dog left behind. And part of the proceeds of this purchase goes to housing pets of domestic violence survivors and supporting the work of Praline’s [00:29:00] Backyard Foundation. [00:29:01] Orazie Cook: So those are the three ways. Oh, and I said that if you cannot foster a pet right now, I totally understand that. However, if you know someone that has a pet boarding facility and they would like, they can support our work in terms of housing pets of survivors at a reduced cost. All right, no cost at all. [00:29:16] Orazie Cook: Then we definitely work on the opportunity to partner with them to house pets in their community for survivors. So definitely that’s another way this, and just always tell people hold your businesses in your community accountable to the community, because we give so much to these local businesses, they should give back and pour back into the community. [00:29:35] Orazie Cook: However, that may be however they choose to do, but definitely request them to do so. Because if you ask people, most likely people will give. If you want to support that local baseball team, the children’s baseball team, companies will do that. Right? So, also take the opportunity to support survivors of domestic violence. [00:29:48] Orazie Cook: If you have the resources or the pet boarding facility to house pets, Do that. It’s awesome. So, just definitely ask your business to support organizations that you like and that you wanna support. [00:29:57] Diana: So yeah, those are a lot of things, a lot of [00:30:00] options, which is great. [00:30:01] Diana: I need to get my, those shirts for sure. Definitely. I put you on, we can talk and I know we talked about a lot of subjects here. Topics. Is there anything that, that we didn’t talk about that you wanted to cover? [00:30:17] Orazie Cook: I think I mentioned this a little bit early on, later on in the year, I’m definitely going to I’m waiting on a grant that I apply for in terms of building an app that serves DSMSA violence survivors, but I want to create with this app because I want a survivor to go into this app. [00:30:31] Orazie Cook: I want them to request that they’re saying they have a pet and they need housing for their pet. I want a pet boarding facility and a pet foster to be able to use this same app and say I’m available to house a survivor’s pet in this community. So I can match these two people together and then they’re able to serve the survivor and their pet. [00:30:47] Orazie Cook: And so right now I’m making those connections hand by hand in a sense, not really by hand because Doobie. com is helping me. But I want to really take A more of an automated approach by having everybody else, everybody come [00:31:00] together in this one app and to pull the resources together. I want to say Airbnb, but kind of how you connect. [00:31:06] Orazie Cook: You have housing, you want to go into that, I’m going to request housing. And obviously it all will be free. Of course, it’s free to the survivor. The domestic violence victim inside a pet boarding facility is donating their space at a reduced cost. And there’s a cost associated. The foundation pays that cost. [00:31:20] Orazie Cook: And then the pet foster, we’re going to Praline’s Backyard Foundation will support the foster. However, that looks different for every foster. Some people can foster with no problem. Some people need, not no problem, but no, not needing assistance. But if they do need assistance, Praline’s Backyard Foundation supports them in whatever they need, because I would tell people because I think some people have a concern about fostering because having a pet is a serious responsibility. [00:31:42] Orazie Cook: Like when I go on vacation, I have to find housing for my pet, right? And so we want to support fosters. If they want to go on vacation, we’ll provide housing for the pet at a pet facility, because we want fosters to go on vacation, right? We want them to have a break just like we want to break up our own animals if we have them. [00:31:56] Orazie Cook: So we definitely support fosters in that way as well. [00:32:00] Because we don’t want to be discouraged. Like, I can’t do this because, I have this trip planned this year and then I want to have a date night or something. And so we want to make sure we support fosters by providing housing when they need to go away and take care of themselves and refresh to be able to better serve survivors pets. [00:32:15] Diana: Wow. And it is in Arizona here. It was 119 and we have been we have been making friends with a feral cat. We call her Meow. She’s been living on our front porch. She was abandoned by our neighbor four doors down when they moved. And so we had been developing a relationship with her and she’s taken a shine to us. [00:32:40] Diana: And so when it hit 119 I felt so bad. Now my husband’s allergic to cats. I said, can we at least put her in one of the bedrooms and shut the door? At least so she’ll be out of the heat. And so we’ve been taking care of her. She’ll come in the hottest part of the day and then she’ll be outside the rest of the day. [00:32:58] Diana: And then I found out [00:33:00] there’s another cat on our back porch. We call her Smokey and we had this tropical storm and I noticed that there was, Smokey on the back porch. I didn’t know if it was a boy or a girl, but I just started feeding this cat for maybe the last month because it was so hot, I felt bad for it. [00:33:23] Diana: And I went out there to clean up the storm damage and I’m like looking around with a flashlight and sure enough… Smokey had kittens. Oh. No, Smokey is afraid of humans. He is like, unsocialized feral. No, Meow is friendly, but… Smoky is not, so I’ve been trying to make sure that mama’s being fed and watered and making sure the kittens are okay, even though she hissed at me yesterday. [00:33:53] Diana: Oh no! I went out to put some some cat chow out there and make sure she had enough water and I [00:34:00] was between her and the kittens and she just said, hold on, I’m not here to hurt your kittens. I just want to give you some food. I’m going to back out. I’m a cat mama right now. We’ve fostered a couple of dogs and failed at the foster, of course, cause we wound up adopting them. [00:34:19] Diana: But so can’t take any more in, but I definitely love, love what you’re doing and want to support you and tell everybody about your organization. It’s so, so needed and wear the t shirt. And so I appreciate you coming on the show today. And how can people reach you? What was that [00:34:44] Diana: web address again? [00:34:47] Orazie Cook: Oh, definitely. Thank you again for allowing me to come onto your platform and to share your space with me. I appreciate you giving me opportunity to help raise awareness to your audience and beyond. So thank you. You can learn more about Praline’s Backyard Foundation at [00:35:00] pralinesbackyardfoundation. [00:35:00] Orazie Cook: org My name is Orazie, spelled O as in onion, R as in rabbit, A as in apple, Z as in zebra, I E. And definitely look us up on all social media platforms, Praline’s Backyard on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and I have a YouTube channel, it’s Praline’s Backyard Foundation, and I’m kind of dabbling into threads, we’ll see. [00:35:22] Orazie Cook: So, but yeah, so definitely reach out to us, and like I mentioned, it’s definitely appreciate donations, definitely appreciate you buying our merchandise. But know that every follow, like, and share pushes our message higher and higher up among the social media algorithms and to help us educate 10 million people about the barriers survivors with pets experience each year in this country, we want to do 10 for 10, 10 million survivors. [00:35:44] Orazie Cook: We want 10 million advocates. So thank you so much. [00:35:48] Orazie Cook: Definitely keep in touch. Okay. Definitely. Thank you. [00:35:53] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful podcast. If this episode has been helpful to [00:36:00] you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You can connect with us at DSW Ministries. org where you’ll find our blog along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel links. Hope to see you next week!